Bill Bright founder of Cru defined successful evangelism this way.
“Successful witnessing is sharing the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”
Although simple and easily memorized it is also a challenge to live out. You must know the Gospel, then know how to speak about the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The key we must remember is that the results are out of our control. God is in control. In John 14:6 Jesus said , “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” So people don’t come to the Father through our presentation or living out of the Gospel. They come to God through Jesus. This takes the pressure off of us as those that follow Christ and obey the great commission.
It has also helped me to realize that if I can’t lead anyone to God, then conversely I can not lead anyone away from Him as well. My “poor” proclamation of the Gospel cannot “make” or force anyone not to believe. That too is outside of my control and in God’s control and the responsibility of the person I am talking to.
Because of these truths our focus can be obedience to speak the Gospel to people, and follow the Holy Spirit. This definition of evangelism keeps it simple and takes the pressure off.
How would you define successful evangelism?